Monday, January 17, 2011


It feels good to see my name at the top of the masterpoint list for the Macon sectional. Except for a 95ish table sectional in Valdosta a few years ago where I won about 16MP, this is the first time I've been the masterpoint leader for a whole tournament, but that's mostly because I rarely play a whole tournament. No one tried to refer to Meg as Dana, although 2 people who certainly had not met Meg before talked as if they had seen her with me at the Macon club before.

Anyway, here's an amusing hand from our third match in the Swiss. It was a turning point for us.We were at 23VPs on a 20 average after losing to one of the top teams in round 2 and already went down in a makable game in this round.
We had the following auction:
1♣-P-1♠-P; 2-P-3♠-P; 4NT-P-5-P; 6♠-X-P-P; 6NT-X-P-P; P.
1♣ was a weak NT or any big hand, 1♠ was 8+ with 4+ spades, 2 was natural game forcing, 3♠ showed a self-sufficient suit, 5 showed 3 keycards. A fairly straightforward auction. My rho, a good player, doubled and Meg quickly corrected to 6NT and we had 12 top tricks as long as Meg's ♣K stayed protected on opening lead. The doubler had like an 11-count with ♣AQ.

Meg had ♠Q, AKJxxx, AKx, ♣Kxx
I had ♠AKJxxxxx, -, Tx, ♣JTx

Doubling 6NT only cost 1 imp because they stopped in game at the other table but passing 6♠ and getting a club lead would have been disastrous to us. The next hand they were pushing and bid a 6 slam off 2 cashing aces so we came away with a big win and did not look back after that.

Doubling a slam generally calls for the lead of dummy's first bid suit, but in this case, since 1♣ was artificial, is dummy's first bid suit clubs or hearts? I tend to think the double would ask for a heart lead, but most others think it calls for a club lead. Eh.


  1. Hey Andre,

    Enjoyed the article. Some after thoughts:

    What would X of 1C be? If it is a club lead indicator, then I would assume doubling 6S should be asking for a Heart lead, as you have suggested.

    Even if that is unclear, the X should be asking partner to make an unusual lead. Since Clubs and Diamonds seem normal-ish on the given auction, X should suggest Hearts.

    I'll admit that it is pretty deep insight to X 1C with the intent of potentially setting the opponents slam, but that is the law of unintended consequence sometimes.

    I would have lead a heart, therefore 6S was always making (I'm assuming since 6NT made, that Spades broke no worse than 3-1). You probably make 7S on a Heart Lead. Somewhere around 90% perhaps?


  2. X of this 1C should be takeout. It can be slightly ambiguous in the minors but a 4-4-(32) type of hand. A 1C opener is 12-14 balanced somewhere around 65% of the time so you should just treat it as a natural 1C opener.

    I do agree that this double certainly asks for a Heart lead though. The double asks for an unusual lead -- usually dummies first naturally bid suit. Clubs would be a standard lead.